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Taiwan Church News

3241 Edition

April  7  - April  13, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Tashi Tsering Share The Tibetans' Pursuit For Independence And Freedom

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

On April 7th, in order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the self-immolation of Chen Nan-jung, a very famous human rights activist and thinker, Tashi Tsering - Chairman of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Taiwan - was invited by Taiwan Association for Human Rights(TAHR) to share the story of Tibetans' struggles and dreams after the validation of "Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet": how China sent into the troops and occupy Tibet? how the authoritarian ruling was set up? and etc.

 

Tashi Tsering remarked that, before China's bloody invasion, Tibet is an independent country over 2,000 years in human history. Now through continuous military oppression and large volume immigrants, China wishes to subordinate the Tibetans with population and educational brain-wash. In order to get a stricter control, the Tibetans are requested to waive their nomadic style and adapt themselves to apartment life. People are not free to travel or relocate, unless with documents to prove. Especially, to censor the thought of the common people, the religious freedom is severely restricted: the picture of the world-reputed Dalai Lama is forbidden to hang out publicly, the incarnation inheritance of Renpoche and Lama is intervened, and etc.

 

Tashi Tsering, who has come and lived in Taiwan for 15 years, said he does not hate the Chinese who love freedom and democracy. But he dislike the regime of China Communist, because they are against human rights. He wishes some day his dream of Tibetan independence could came true and he could go back home. He also expresses his appreciation for the assistance from Taiwan's NGO, helping the Tibetan exiles to organize and develop on this island. He felt very much encouraged and inspired by the democratic Sunflower Student Movement. Finally, he apprises the wonderful democratic legacy bequeathed from the freedom fighters, like Cheng Nan-jung, that we could learn and treasure such precious gift!

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Tashi Tsering(Left in blue vest) shares the struggling stories of the Tibetan people after signature of the so-called "Seventeen Point Agreement" between China and Tibet on May 23, 1951.

 

Photo by Simon Lin


 
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Taiwan Church News

3241 Edition

April  7 - April 13, 2014

Headline News

 

Commemoration of Nylon, A Martyr For Taiwan Independence And Freedom

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

 

April 7th of 2014 is the date to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the self-immolation of Mr. Cheng Nan-jung, who is nicknamed "Nylon" by his families and close friends, on his special contribution as a pro-democracy publisher on speech freedom and a pro-Taiwan independence activist to demonstrate his courageous independence stance in Taiwan's military ruled 1980s.

 

 

A special commemoration assembly, hosted by Cheng Nan-jung Foundation, was held at "Cheng Nan-jung Memorial Cemetery - Wings of Freedom" located in Chin Pao San Cemetery Service. The participants included Yeh Ju-lan(Nylon's widow), Cheng Ju-may(Nylon's daughter), Hsieh Chang-ting(former Prime Minister), Chen Juh(Kaohsiung City Mayor), Hsu Seh-kai(former Representative to Japan), Chiu Yu-ping(NCKU law school student), Lee Seng-hsiong(human rights Lawyer), Hsieh Zhuo-lan(Associate Professor of Dong Hwa University) and many families of 228 massacre victims.

 

 

Yeh Ju-lan, Nylon's widow, said that Nylon would have smile to see how Taiwan had changed after he had passed away. Especially, the civil disobedience practiced by the Sunflower Student Movement is the amazing blossom, which seed was sewed 25 years ago by the same unyielding and disobedient soul like Nylon to pursue Taiwan's independence and speech freedom. But, she also stressed that Taiwan still has lots of difficult problems to overcome. "If we would make good use our courage, perseverance and the power of will, I believe Taiwan is still full of hope!", said Yeh.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Yeh Ju-lan(left), Nylon's widow, with her daughter Cheng Ju-may(center), gave their remembrance via rose to Nylon(Cheng Nan-jung) on his 25th anniversary of self-immolation for Taiwan's independence and speech freedom.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 
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Taiwan Church News

3240 Edition

March  31 - April 6, 2014

Editorial

 

 

Editorial: Let The Spirit Of Voluntary Commitment Becomes Our Energy and Power

 

 

Over five hundreds thousands black shirt citizens flooded into the Katagalan Boulevard on March 30, protesting against Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement(CSSTA) and demonstrating their will to protect Taiwan's democracy, with a sincere wish that President Ma Ying-jeou could humbly down to listen the voice of the people.

 

Since the students occupied the congress meeting hall from March 18, lots of students from around the the country poured into the streets around the congress to protect the students inside the congress building. Many college teachers and university professors, moving their classrooms within the safe campus onto the streets around the occupied parliament, lectured openly to the students and citizens about the citizen society. And the students inside the congress also voluntarily organized themselves to maintain the traffics, sanitary cleaning and material supplies. No body commands and no body mobilize anyone to maintain all these miscellaneous stuffs. But the students would show up to help, once there is demand heard.

 

Except the voluntary maintenance of the order by the students and teachers, during the period of occupying the congress, many pickup trucks owned by the ordinary citizens also appeared voluntarily to transport the daily supplies, like food, water, blankets, electric facilities and etc, to the temporarily established material resources booths. These goods and supplies are charities donated from the citizens to support the students. Maybe these citizens could not stage a long stay to protest inside the congress, but they do their best efforts to join this student movement. In the meantime, many activity groups with different social concerns also staged their booth around the congress, exchanging their thoughts and ideas with the students and the rallied citizens.

 

In addition to the charity from the crowd, a group of Christians demonstrated their calling to comfort the agitated temper and disquiet mind during this contentious student protest. So, prayer meeting and vigil were held every night in the Chi-nan Presbyterian Church. Some PCT youth even organised the "Sunflower Choir" to sing the hymns, expecting these peaceful lyrics could comfort and encourage the students in stress and challenge. Especially, Chi-nan Presbyterian Church, which is just located beside the congress, does a very good service to the students and citizens: their church spaces and facilities were maximally utilized and offered to accommodate the students and the citizens. The most impressive thing about these service and charities is that all done in a spirit of voluntary commitment!

 

There are many differences between this Sunflower Student Movement and ordinary activists campaign. One of the most distinguishing characteristics is her voluntary commitment. Such voluntary committed action does not mean to act arbitrarily, but to hear the call of demand and voluntarily to respond in order to make the operation more smooth and fluent. Though there were many communications and negotiations required, with a vision to defend our democracy in Taiwan, students, teachers, citizens and Christians could stand united to work together. No matter what the results would be, the passionate welding of these social forces has lead Taiwan society jumping into a brand new world!

 

Back to the issues discussed within our beloved church, what we can learn from this Sunflower Student Movement? Would we give more chance and freedom to our church youth, like the social activist campaign movements, let our church youth to do their own ministries and learn to be voluntarily committed and responsible? Whether we could persuasively empower our PCT members to voluntarily commit themselves into kinds of ministries, instead of crowd mobilization? If we could really grasp the true spirit - voluntary commitment - from this Sunflower Student Movement, practicing more energetically in the gospel preaching and social concern, it is not far to make our church to become the sign of hope!

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3240 Edition

March 31  - April 6, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

To Witness PCT's Confession Of Faith, Taiwan Church Press Extraneously Circulated Her Report Of  Sunflower Student Movement

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

Since the broke out of Sunflower Student Movement on March 18, The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan(PCT) joined with the united actions of NGO organizations and stationed a 24 hours checkpoint to protect the students till now. To support this student movement, the reporters and staff of Taiwan Church Press(TCP) also covered this event with high alert and big concern. Especially, the brutal and bloody eviction of defenseless students on March 24 was covered in details by our news issue numbered 3239.

 

In order to let the citizens and students, engaged in the Sunflower Student Movement at the protesting sites, learn more information about the spirit and ministries of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan(PCT). Rev. Fang Lan-ting, TCP's  editor in chief, decided to print issue 3239 extraneously to 5000 copies and personally delivered this newspaper to people at the occupied congress. The fair and objective coverage was deeply appreciated and affirmed by the crowd who had staged around the parliamentary buildings since the movement broke out.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Rev. Fang Lan-ting, TCP's editor in chief,  brought the extraneously printed issue No. 3239 of Taiwan Church Press, covering the details of the brutal eviction by riot police, to one of the protesting citizens, Lawyer Hsu Sen-hsiong.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3240 Edition

March 31  - April 6, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Global Taiwan Students Relay Their Protest Against Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement(CSSTA) On March 30

 

Reported by Chen Yi-shuan

 

According to the Facebook page of "Protect Democracy, Protect Taiwan", a website especially set up for overseas Taiwan students to voice their protest against CSSTA, it is estimated that there are thousands of Taiwan overseas youth appeared in 49 cities among 17 countries around the globe on March 30 demonstrating their support for the proposals of Taiwan's Sunflower Student Movement: Turn down CSSTA and Protect Taiwan's Democracy.

 

In Japan, among Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka, totally about 860 Taiwanese students attended the protest relay: 500 students in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park; 300 in Kyoto University; 60 in Fukuoka. Through a live video connection, these demonstrating students in Japan's different cities chanting their heartfelt support, "We people at Japan protect Taiwan", to the rallied crowd on the Katagalan Boulevard before Taiwan's President Office Building.

 

In Germany, there are about 240 Taiwan students rallied against CSSTA in Berlin and Franfurt. Their speak out loud and chant "We in Frankfurt(Berlin), We protect democracy!". In France, some students have already started their protest against CSSTA from March 23 on Place de la Bastille. About 700 people rally in esplanade des droits de l'homme on March 30 to show their support for the Sunflower Student Movement.

 

In UK, about 700 people attend the demonstration rally on London streets. The violent and bloody eviction of defenseless students by Taiwan riot police was impressively shown in black-and-white pictures. The hypocritical cosmetics of Ma Ying-jeou regime as an democratically government is thoroughly exposed.

 

In the cities among Australia and New Zealand, over 2100 people join into this movement within only one week's time.

 

In New York's Times Square, about 1,000 overseas Taiwanese rally. They wear in black shirts with sunflower in hands, pay their tributes to the students and pray for Taiwan's democracy at this most critical moment. In Toronto of Canada, there are over 300 people gathered in the snowy weather to send their support and bless back to Taiwan.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Overseas Taiwanese in Toronto, Canada, express their bless and support for Taiwan's Sunflower Student Movement: Protect Democracy, Protect Taiwan!


Photo by Wu Jiong-hau

 

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3240 Edition

March  31 - April 6, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Aboriginal Youth Forum And Aboriginal Activist Groups Protest Against Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement(CSSTA)

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

Against the March 24 news release, from the government's Council of Indigenous Peoples(CIP), warning Taiwan's aboriginal peoples not to take part in the protest toward CSSTA, the Forum of the Aboriginal Youth against CSSTA(abbreviated as the Aboriginal Youth Forum[AYF]), who had started a peaceful sit-in protest in Taipei's downtown from March 22, strongly rebuked CIP's arrogant stance and ignorance about the impact of CSSTA upon the aboriginal economics and survival.

 

AYF pointed out, assuming the aboriginal as the major force of bottom-labor supply, CIP never mentioned about the impact of CSSTA toward the medium and small tribal industry which were also a major economic pillar for the aboriginal livelihood. Not to mention the absence of any CIP evaluation of CSSTA's impact of the future population migration within the indigenous, once the Chinese are allowed to migrate into Taiwan after CSSTA is approved.

 

Three aboriginal activist groups, including Millet Foundation, ATIPP(Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples' Policy) and IPACT(Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan), voiced their strongest and unanimous objection toward CSSTA, because there was never an aboriginal people or even an aboriginal law-maker or representative was invited to attend the CSSTA public hearing since CSSTA was set up on agenda since June 2013. As the indigenous peoples only accounts 2%, approximately around 500,000 people, for Taiwan's total population, UN had listed them as the "endangered" tribes. Accordingly, from the considerations of demography or economics, the giant impact of an opaque CSSTA lack of due process would certainly aroused wave of furor and protest among Taiwan's most vulnerable indigenous peoples.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Pastors Choir from the aboriginal PCT Taroko Presbytery, wearing their traditional dress, voiced their salutes to the students in the congress' meeting hall.

 

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
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